Spring Forward: Change Clocks, Check Smoke Alarms

HARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Daylight Savings Time returns at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, and Pennsylvania residents are reminded to change the batteries in older-model smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they turn their clocks forward this weekend.

“Keeping your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in good working order is one of the easiest ways to keep your loved ones safe. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half, and worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of some alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction,” said Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay.

Before installing a detector or an alarm, Solobay suggested writing the purchase date inside the unit. Whether a unit is battery-powered or hardwired, it should be replaced every eight to 10 years. Some newer models have a sealed battery compartment with a lifespan of eight to 10 years, and after that time, a new unit must be purchased.

Working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction. Changing the batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tragic deaths and injuries.

Carbon monoxide is created when combustible materials burn incompletely. Often called “the silent killer,” it is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can incapacitate victims before they’re aware they’ve been exposed. Sources of carbon monoxide can include wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired appliances, grills, and motor vehicles.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.

This weekend also serves as an ideal time for families to review and practice their home evacuation plans.

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